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Penn-Trafford's Winslow to wrestle at Wheeling Jesuit

| Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
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Penn-Trafford senior Ryan Winslow signs his letter of intent in April 2013 to wrestle for Wheeling Jesuit University. Pictured, in front, from left to right, are Penn-Trafford assistant coach Nick Padezan, Ryan Winslow and coach Rich Ginther; and in back, parents Heidi and Russ Winslow of Harrison City.

Ryan Winslow took the one and only timeout of his high school wrestling career in his final match for Penn-Trafford.

While wrestling in the 220-pound consolation ladder against Greensburg Salem's Grant Slezak in the Powerade Christmas Wrestling Tournament, Winslow went to make a move and got his arm caught under his opponent's.

“I didn't really think too much of it — I kind of thought I just strained my shoulder or something,” Winslow said. “So I kept wrestling, and nonetheless I ended up pinning the kid.”

It turned out the injury, which Winslow suffered in his final match of the day, was a fractured collarbone.

The injury ended Winslow's wrestling season in December, but it won't prevent him from wrestling in college.

Winslow committed earlier this month to wrestle at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia. There, he will be a part of the first wrestling program in university history. The new program was announced in December 2012.

“It's definitely exciting,” Winslow said of joining the first-year program. “It'll definitely go down in history. We'll be the first class to graduate for that wrestling program (because) it's brand new.”

Though Wheeling Jesuit coach Sean Doyle saw film on Winslow, he didn't get much of a chance to watch him wrestle in person because he began recruiting right around the time Winslow suffered his collarbone injury.

Doyle said he continued to pursue Winslow despite the injury because of the Penn-Trafford senior's intangibles, which he heard about from mutual acquaintances.

With freshmen expected to make up about 90 percent of Wheeling Jesuit's roster next season, Doyle said he looked for recruits with high marks in character and leadership, as well as a strong family background.

He found all those traits in Winslow.

“We need young men that are mature enough to understand the process that they're about to go through,” Doyle said. “A number of these guys are going to step right into a spot in the starting lineup before maybe they would have in other situations.”

Winslow chose Wheeling Jesuit over other programs like Seton Hill, Waynesburg and Washington & Jefferson. He plans to major in business and said Wheeling Jesuit's academics attracted him.

“The class-size ratio is pretty small,” he said. “For me, that's good (because) it helps me focus a lot better.”

Though he hasn't officially been cleared by his doctor, Winslow is back wrestling for his club team.

“You see some kids in that situation fold up, and they have a reason to kind of back down because they have an excuse,” Doyle said. “Then you have kids like Ryan – he finished the match and obviously won by pin and wasn't able to finish the year the way he wanted.

“I think (the injury is) probably something that's going to motivate Ryan and keep the fire burning inside of him,” Doyle said. “He didn't finish his career the way he really wanted to. The best years for Ryan are ahead of him.”

Doug Gulasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-8527 or via Twitter @dgulasy­_Trib.

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